KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 25
(Bernama) -- Barack Obama advocated change in the United States'
presidential campaign to get to the White House, and the theme has been
pounced on by two of the MIC deputy president hopefuls in their attempt
to unseat in*****bent Datuk S.Palanivel in the coming MIC elections.
With party president Datuk Seri S.Samy Vellu openly backing
Palanivel, former party No. 2 Datuk S.Subramaniam and vice-president
Datuk S.Sothinathan are campaigning for change.
Subramaniam has picked
the theme "Change for the Better" while going for broke, and
Sothinathan has named his campaign "Believe in Change - Vote for
The party elections on Sept 12 come after the worst showing by the
MIC in the country's general election last year, including the defeat
of Samy Vellu himself in his once stronghold of Sungai Siput in Perak.
Subramaniam, who was the deputy president from 1981 until his
defeat at the hands of Palanivel in the 2006 party elections, said the
party had to have much-needed reforms to reposition itself as the voice
of the Indian community.
"In those days, MIC was the umbrella for most Indian Malaysians
... and represented the aspirations and well-being of the Indian
community, but see what the situation is today. There are so many
parties representing them," he said.
A former deputy minister who has served in various ministries,
Subramaniam also sees the need to bring greater freedom of expression
in the party, among members and leaders alike, to tolerate and accept
Sothinathan, meanwhile, said the image of the MIC had been
severely tarnished and there was a need to re-energise the party in
terms of confidence, strength and image.
"A comprehensive confidence-boosting action plan must be carved
out and implemented across the country, enabling members to be
motivated to make sacrifices and work hard for the betterment of the
Indian community as a whole," he said.
His vision for change also calls for empowering branch and
divisional leaders, fair and equal opportunities for everyone in the
party, uniting the Indian community under one umbrella, and
incorporating democracy as part of the party's culture.
Palanivel, when contacted by Bernama, said he would answer questions on his campaign later as he was busy meeting delegates.
More than 1,400 delegates will vote in the polls.
-- BERNAMAMIC Probing Candidates Allegedly Involved In Caste-Based Politics
KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 25 (Bernama) -- The MIC has started a probe following
a newspaper report yesterday of the alleged involvement of certain
party leaders in caste-based politics, party president Datuk Seri S.
Samy Vellu said Tuesday.
The party was also investigating the alleged involvement of these
leaders with "outside forces", particularly some businessmen, who
according to Samy Vellu were said to be harbouring ill-intentions
against the party.
"We have been monitoring their (these businessmen's) activities
and their association with some MIC leaders. They have been detrimental
to our party and it is time to act.
"The MIC is considering taking action against its members who work
hand in glove with these businessmen by using caste-based politics to
win in the MIC elections," he said in a statement here.
Samy Vellu also said that the MIC wanted the Home Ministry to take action against the newspaper for publishing the caste issue.
He said the party's sole representative in the Cabinet, Human
Resources Minister Datuk Dr S. Subramaniam, would be asked to raise the
matter at the Cabinet meeting Wednesday.
"The newspaper has caused the MIC to look like a caste-based
party. This is not true and we want action to be taken against the
newspaper," he said.
The MIC also wanted the newspaper to retract the articles it had
published in the run-up to the Sept 12 MIC elections and apologise to
the party members.
"The Indian Malaysian community is totally against the practice of
caste, especially in politics. There is no room for such people in the
party," Samy Vellu said, adding that the MIC has always been
championing all members of the Indian community.
"I have said it before and I am saying it now. The MIC is for all
Indians and we will not hesitate to take action against leaders or
members who use caste to advance their political career," he added.
Earlier today, the MIC Youth lodged a police report against the newspaper.
Samy Vellu upset with caste politics reports
By B. Suresh Ram
Dark clouds are gathering over the MIC as key leaders vying for top
posts in party elections on Sept 12 find themselves accused of playing
up a taboo subject -- caste politics.
On the list may be former deputy president Datuk S. Subramaniam,
who is going for the number two position, and his challenger and former
vice-president, Datuk S. Sothinathan.
Party chief Datuk Seri
S. Samy Vellu is hopping mad over reports that the party was in the
middle of a caste war in the run-up to landmark elections that may
determine the next generation of senior leaders.
He told reporters yesterday that the party was investigating certain party leaders for alleged involvement in caste politics.
He said the party was also investigating if the leaders were in
cohorts with "outside forces" including some successful businessmen
said to be wanting to use caste for leverage in the party.
have been monitoring their ( the businessmen's) activities and their
association with some MIC leaders. They have been damaging the party
and it is time for us to act.
"We are considering action
against members working hand in glove with these businessmen to use
caste to win the elections," he said when commenting on reports and a
graphic in a newspaper which highlighted the issue on Monday.
The newspaper had quoted a source as saying that a group calling itself
namavar or "our people", and said to be chaired by millionaire
businessman Datuk Vyran T. Raj, had met separately with Subramaniam and
Sothinathan last month.
Subramaniam is supposed to have said that he would abolish caste politics and open the MIC to all Indians if voted in.
Samy Vellu said the MIC would seek an explanation from Subramaniam if
it was established that he had indeed uttered words to that effect.
He said this was because his alleged statement was tantamount to branding the MIC as a caste-based party.
"The Malaysian Indian community is totally against the caste system,
especially in politics. There is no room for people who advocate caste
in the party," Samy Vellu said.
"I have said it before and I am saying it again.
"The MIC is for all Indians and we will not hesitate to act
against leaders or members who use caste to advance their political
It is understood that caste has always been an issue in the party,
with the majority of members belonging to depressed castes disgruntled
over the lack of opportunities for advancement in the hierarchy.
It has been said that they have also been upset with the fact that
nothing had changed over the decades with their complaints generally
"swept under the carpet" by the leadership.
Of the report
itself, he said the party wanted the Home Ministry to take action
against the newspaper for fanning caste sentiments by writing about the
issue and associating the term "pariah" with the party.
He said Human Resources Minister Datuk Dr S. Subramaniam would raise the matter in cabinet today.
"The newspaper has caused the MIC to look like a caste-based party.
"This is not true and we want action to be taken against it."
Earlier in the day, MIC Youth chief T. Mohan lodged a police report against the newspaper.
He said 15 reports had been lodged nationwide by MIC division youth leaders.